“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
Yesterday my husband Mark and I visited the Idaho State Capitol building. It was a sunny day, and you could see the light pouring through the windows in every room. Our capitol building is known as the “Capitol of Light.” When you first walk into the building, it envelopes you in awe and wonder. The beautiful and ornate architecture, the grand staircases, the attention to detail, and the sense that great people have walked the halls and made important decisions make this place special and inspirational to every person who walks inside of it.
Our capitol recently underwent a huge restoration process. From the outside it still looks very much like the same capitol building that has stood in place for a century. But the lead architect made it clear that while the body appeared to be okay, inside it was diseased. It was rotting away and falling apart. He even discussed one project in the 1970s where beautiful historical architectural detail was forever lost to make the space within it more functional. You could see how horrible this bang-up job looked and how much was sacrificed for more office space. When the restoration was underway, the building revealed hidden secrets behind the walls, and it also revealed how much damage time had done to this marvelous building. Looking at the restored building today, one can feel proud at how all of the original architectural design has been kept and even recreated where it was lost in some places. Two new legislative wings were even added that let the light flood into the building. The entire place looks more beautiful than ever before. Not one person can ever just hurry through it. It commands attention and causes one to pause and even linger a moment longer to appreciate its beauty and design.
Did you know we have a Great Architect? He paid the utmost attention to detail, being careful not to overlook anything, when He first designed us. He knew exactly what purpose we would serve here on Earth, and He even gave each one of us unique traits and spiritual gifts. He planned out our number of our days in advance and has equipped us with everything we need to become more and more like Him on our spiritual journeys. He even created us with a soul, so that when we die and His work within us in fully complete, we can spend eternity with Him forever.
When we accept Jesus Christ into our hearts and our lives, He begins a great restoration process. The Bible says, “He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him” Daniel 2:22. God exposes these dark spaces within us and replaces them with light. Jesus Christ Himself is light. He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” John 8:12. In 2 Corinthians 6:14 we are told that darkness and light cannot dwell together. You either live in darkness or you live in the light.
Before we accepted Christ into our lives we were like the capitol building–diseased, rotting and wasting away. Satan would prefer each of us stays this way. “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” Matthew 10:28. To the world around us, we may still look the same in appearance as we did beforehand. However, the Bible says, “Outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” 2 Corinthians 4:16. The difference now is Jesus Christ! Hopefully, when people speak with you, they can see that you are God’s flashlight. The Bible says, “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light” Luke 8:16. Our greatest desire is that others will take notice of the change within us, pause a moment to find out what has caused it, and consider whether they wish to be restored too. The Bible instructs us, “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16. Do let your light shine before men?
Light shines and it exposes. Luke 11:33-36 says, “Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you.” Light makes everything look more beautiful. Once Satan was even considered a most beautiful creature radiating God’s glory from the heavenly throne. Do people see the light of God illuminating your soul? Do you shed light into this darkened world and into darkened souls? Or would you call yourself a “closet Christian” coming out only when its safe and convenient for you? God does not wish for you to hide the light within you. He wants its to shine everywhere you go with everyone you meet.
There are so many demonic forces out there that want people to be blind and live in darkness. Lady Gaga was named one of 2011’s greatest entertainers and has millions of fans following her. One of her latest albums is titled “Marry the Night.” God does not want any of us to marry the night. Let us pray for those who live in darkness, and may God use each of us to shine His light!
Pray This Prayer: “Dear Lord, thank you for restoring me and molding me into your image. Continue to expose the hidden and dark spaces within my heart and flood them with your light. May your light also expose the darkness to those who are lost and blind. May they see you and come to know you, so that they too can be restored and inwardly renewed day by day. Amen.”